Joe's Pub to Host "Tambourines and Toreadors"
New Directions in Art Songs by David Del Tredici and John Corigliano
The exciting new soprano Hila Plitmann performs an evening of song cycles by Pulitzer-Prize-winning composers John Corigliano and David Del Tredici at Joe's Pub on Friday, September 27, at 7 p.m. The program features Corigliano's Mr. Tambourine Man: Seven Poems of Bob Dylan (2000) and Del Tredici's Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter (2001), a setting of poetry by the brilliant young Joshua Beckman. Pianist Stephen Gosling accompanies Plitmann in Corigliano's songs, while Del Tredici accompanies his own.
Corigliano calls Mr. Tambourine Man a "crossback," rather than a "crossover" piece. Reading Dylan's texts as poetry rather than lyrics, the Oscar-winning composer fits them to his own music, much as Brahms, Schubert, and Wolfe set the same words of Goethe to their own very different songs. "'Crossover' usually means trying to make concert music sound like pop," he says, "but I found something in Dylan's (very serious, by the way) language that seemed to belong utterly to my world of concert music."
With Del Tredici's recent explosion of art songs came the urge to shake up its usual subject matter. "I'm tired of sunsets, spring and autumn," he says. "I like to set poems that are provocative and offbeat." Lament for the Death of a Bullfighter is a setting of Joshua Beckman's nine-part poem detailing in surprising and whimsical ways how the world changes, when one is suddenly bereft. "I cried when I first heard Joshua read this poem," the composer recalls. "I knew then that I would set it to music."
John Corigliano has won global acclaim for his highly expressive and compelling compositions, including his 1991 Grammy-winning Symphony No.1, his 2000 Oscar-winning score to The Red Violin, and his 2001 Pulitzer Prize-winning Symphony No. 2. Of his vocal works, the opera The Ghosts of Versailles has sold out two engagements at the Metropolitan Opera in 1991 and 1994, as well as its 1995 run at the Lyric Opera of Chicago. His A Dylan Thomas Trilogy, a 1999 revision of his earlier settings of "Fern Hill," "Poem in October," and "Poem on his Birthday," was premiered by Leonard Slatkin and the National Symphony Orchestra. Mr. Tambourine Man was one of two Corigliano works written for the soprano Sylvia McNair in the 1999-2000 season, including Vocalise for Soprano, Electronics and Orchestra, commissioned by the New York Philharmonic.
Composer David Del Tredici is perhaps best known for his extravagant, lush tonal settings of Lewis Carroll's Alice in Wonderland. With the Solti/Hendricks/Chicago Symphony premiere of Final Alice in 1976, Del Tredici scandalized the classical music world, and the Neo-Romantic movement burst into being. The ensuing recording quickly became a bestseller-an unheard-of phenomenon for a piece of contemporary music. In Memory of a Summer Day, another Carroll-based work, went on to win the 1980 Pulitzer Prize for Music. More recently, Del Tredici has turned to American poetry and provocative themes, producing some startling vocal pieces: Gay Life, commissioned and (in 2001) premiered by Michael Tilson Thomas and the San Francisco Symphony; Dracula (1999), by Jonathan Sheffer and the Eos Orchestra; and The Spider and the Fly, (1998) by Kurt Masur and the New York Philharmonic. Mr. Del Tredici has been a guest artist at Yaddo several times, most recently this summer.
The Jerusalem-born soprano Hila Plitmann, "a talented young singer" (New York
Times) with "an expressive range and communicative power" (Chicago Tribune), has been a featured soloist with the New York City Opera, the New Israeli Opera, L'opera de Monte Carlo, the Israel Philharmonic, and the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra. She has performed the premiere of David Del Tredici's The Spider and the Fly with The New York Philharmonic under the baton of Maestro Kurt Masur, as well as the composer's song cycles Ms. Inez Sez and Lament on the Death of a Bullfighter, both with the composer at the piano. In November 2000, she sang the premiere recording of John Corigliano's Mr. Tambourine Man, and has since performed the cycle frequently.
Pianist Stephen Gosling, a native of Sheffield, England, is a ubiquitous presence on New York's new music scene, and has performed extensively in the United States, Europe, Latin America, and Asia. He s a member of the New York New Music Ensemble, Ensemble Sospeso, and VIA (an inter-arts collective) and has performed with the Orpheus Chamber Orchestra, the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, Speculum Musicae, the DaCapo Chamber Players, Continuum, the Orchestra of St. Luke's, and Da Camera of Houston. He has recorded for New World Records, CRI, Mode, Innova and Rattle Records.
All tickets for this event are $30. Joe's Pub is at the Public Theater, 425 Lafayette Street, between Astor Place & East 4th Street. For reservations, call Joe's Pub at 212-539-8778. Tickets can be purchased from the box office from 1 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday and Monday. Tickets also are available from TeleCharge at 212-239-6200, or at www.telecharge.com.
For further information concerning:
Joe's Pub, see www.joespub.com
John Corigliano, see www.schirmer.com/composers/corigliano_bio.html
David Del Tredici, see www.boosey.com/publishing/pages/Composer/composer_main_page.asp